Viewpoint Essays by Brian Cole

These essays have nothing to do with health and fitness but because I don't have a personal website, I'm posting them on here. Thanks for reading 'em.

I was confused…

Years ago, while teaching massage in Virginia Beach, I always gave the following advice to our graduating students: “If you’re ever in an assisted living facility or a nursing home, reach out to just touch people as you pass by. They don’t experience enough touch other than clinical, and as you’ve learned here in… Read more »

Not if, but when

Last year I wrote a Viewpoint column about realizing, in retrospect, we’d past the time for participating in certain activities. For example, with life just flowing along naturally and becoming aware that say, skiing (which perhaps we did regularly for years) due to a relatively minor knee issue that isn’t even… Read more »

These precious, privileged years

Calvin & Hobbes, a syndicated comic strip from the late 1980s into early 1990s, was very popular, clever and full of current events/philosophical commentary. I have one strip laminated and still on my fridge. Calvin says he’s going to write a self-help book. His mission is to help people get… Read more »

Accept it.Embrace it…

December is sandwiched between two of my favorite holidays —Thanksgiving, because of its family focus and its message of being thankful for all we have, and New Year, because of its focus on new and therefore the time to reflect on how much has changed, how fast last year went by… Read more »

I’d never valued this until…

For the last few years as I sit by myself while reading on my beach, a lady walks by, always by herself, earbuds in, walking purposefully, eyes straight ahead. A month or so ago I stood, gestured for her to stop and said: “I’m not asking for your phone number… Read more »

There are few things more relaxing than…

I guess most of you reading this won’t see the benefit of driving to a barn/farm every morning at sunrise to do…well, chores. I mean, as a culture we’ve progressed beyond agricultural (physical chores) to industrial (9 to 5 time clocks) to technological (working from home, cell phone computers, passwords, digital… Read more »

Remember this…

While I don’t know your age, if you’ve ever struggled to remember someone’s name, a name you should know well, and are aware you’re losing your memory, read on. First, you’re not losing your memory.  An analogy: if I asked you to walk or run a short distance as fast as… Read more »

The 99 percent

When I write a “To Your Health” column, I’m trying to be informative and helpful. And when I write these “Viewpoint” columns, I’m expressing mine (Viewpoints) without trying to be anything other than straightforward as I see it. I hear many comments throughout the month and welcome them whether they’re… Read more »

Crab Pots and Aging

A big nor’easter (high winds from the northeast) storm can be more disruptive than many hurricanes to the beach and to my old weathered beach cottage. Last year one brought some crab pots up to my dune grasses and then half buried them with sand.

So, what’s the answer?

There’s a whole new way for our kids to play. They learn to play together, to cooperate, to be friendly. We do not want disappointed children sent home crying because they see themselves as failures. That’s a view of themselves that evolves into low self-esteem and never leaves them throughout… Read more »


This is not a recommendation on how to live; this is just sharing MY viewpoint.  A combination of my self-imposed isolation due to COVID, the end of a long-term relationship, this stage of a very full life, my heritage and probably some additional things I’m unaware of, find me in… Read more »


Once upon a time in a life far, far away I was a single dad with three teenagers and in search of a new home for us. I was also far, far away from being independently wealthy but stumbled into an opportunity I thought we could afford: a beach cottage… Read more »

Smoothing the rough edges

I write these Viewpoint columns with the idea to inspire some thinking. I don’t try to find topics everyone agrees with. I recognize that readership of Oyster Pointer grows every year and the paper is an undeniable success.  I’ve been using a sports analogy lately when referring to this stage of my life by calling… Read more »

Nice people

My last Viewpoint column, “I’m Confused,” in December was about all the people who seem so angry about this life when we have so much to be thankful for. It concluded, kind of revealed itself to me as I wrote, that it was a matter of “personal choice” based on… Read more »

I’m confused…

Clearly I’m missing something. While I’m not old, I’ve been around a while and I’ve been paying attention. But I don’t understand some pretty relevant stuff. So I’m hoping some of my consistent readers who often comment both positively and critically about my Viewpoints will offer some helpful insights. Please. I started… Read more »

I’ll keep trying…

For my last Viewpoint column in August, I wrote some dialogue. My reading has gravitated lately to authors who use plenty of dialogue rather than long descriptive writing. One of the recognized best, Elmore Leonard, explained his writing as not including the parts he usually skims or even skips when… Read more »

Working through stuff…together

HER: I don’t understand why this bothers you. I mean, why would I talk it over with you first? If I’d been unsure, I would’ve, but it wasn’t like that. I knew my position on it. HIM: Well, it’s just that it was a major decision and I guess I’ve… Read more »

Patience please. I’ll tie it all together…

In the early 1990s, shortly after taking office, Bill Clinton hosted a summit of the leading international economists to attempt to find some consensus moving forward. In the mountains of paper data to be evaluated, one word was relevantly (in retrospect) missing: the Internet. Which, of course, was not only… Read more »

Barb and Sue: Two women I knew

In today’s (temporary) lifestyle of reduced activities I have plenty of time to ponder all sorts of stuff. I was thinking about different people I’ve been fortunate to know in this short, short life. While I knew each of these women rather well at different times in my varied life,… Read more »


Living by myself as I have for about 15 years, since my youngest daughter started college, has been a new chapter, like coming home after a lot of activities. It’s been very nice. Adapting to change is pretty close to the top of the list of prerequisites for a healthy… Read more »